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The method of gathering of the mind is not an easy one. It is better to watch and separate oneself from the thoughts till one becomes aware of a quiet space within into which they come from outside.

The first thing to do is to realise that this thought-flow is not yourself, it is not you who are thinking, but thought that is going on in the mind. It is Prakriti with its thought-energy that is raising all this whirl of thought in you, imposing it on the Purusha. You as the Purusha must stand back as the witness observing the action, but refusing to identify yourself with it.

The next thing is to exercise a control and reject the thoughts—though sometimes by the very act of detachment the thought-habit falls away or diminishes during the meditation and there is a sufficient silence or at any rate a quietude which makes it easy to reject the thoughts that come and fix oneself on the object of meditation. [1]

Thoughts come from outside

All thoughts really come from outside, but one is not conscious of their coming.

There are different ways of getting rid of them; one is to reject them one by one before they can come in; another is to look at them with detachment till they fade away. [2]

If one becomes aware of the thoughts as coming from outside, from the universal Nature, then one can throw them away before they reach the mind; in that way the mind finally falls silent. If neither of these things happens, a persistent practice of rejection becomes necessary—there should be no struggle or wrestling with the thoughts, but only a quiet self-separation and refusal. Success does not come at first, but if consent is constantly withheld, the mechanical whirl eventually lessens and begins to die away and one can then have at will an inner quietude or silence. [3]

Thoughts come in habitually

It is of course because of the old habit of the mental consciousness that it goes on receiving the thoughts from outside in spite of its being a fatigue—not that it wants them, but that they are accustomed to come and the mind mechanically lets them in and attends to them by force of habit. This is always one of the chief difficulties in Yoga when the experiences have begun and the mind wants to be always either concentrated or quiet. Some do what you propose [direct rejection of thoughts] and after a time succeed in quieting the mind altogether or the silence comes down from above and does it. But often when one tries this, the thoughts become very active and resist the silencing process and that is very troublesome. Therefore many prefer to go on slowly letting the mind quiet down little by little, the quietness spreading and remaining for longer periods until the unwanted thoughts fall away or recede and the mind is left free for knowledge from within and above.

What you might do is to try and see what results—if the thoughts attack too much and trouble, you could stop—if the mind quiets down quickly or more and more, then continue. [4]


For the buzz of the physical mind, reject it quietly, without getting disturbed, till it feels discouraged and retires shaking its head and saying, “This fellow is too calm and strong for me.” There are always two things that can rise up and assail the silence,—vital suggestions, the physical mind’s mechanical recurrences. Calm rejection for both is the cure. There is a Purusha within who can dictate to the nature what it shall admit or exclude, but its will is a strong, quiet will; if one gets perturbed or agitated over the difficulties, then the will of the Purusha cannot act effectively as it would otherwise. The dynamic realisation will probably take place when the higher consciousness comes fully down into the vital. When it comes into the mental it brings the peace of the Purusha and liberation and it may bring also knowledge. It is when it comes into the vital that the dynamic realisation becomes present and living. [5]

The Difficulty of the Mechanical Mind

That [the constant recurrence of trivial thoughts] is the nature of the mechanical mind—it is not due to any sensitiveness in it. Only as the other parts of the mind are more silent and under control, this activity looks more prominent and takes more space. It usually wears itself out, if one goes on rejecting it. [6]

It was rather that the active mind became more quiet so that the movements of the mechanical mind became more evident—that is what often happens. What has to be done in that case is to detach oneself from these movements and concentrate without farther attention to them. They are then likely to sink into quietude or fall away. [7]

To be able to detach oneself from the action of the mechanical mind is the first necessity so that it may be like a noise in the street which passes and which one can ignore. It is easier then for the quiet and peace of the mind to remain undisturbed by this action even if it occurs. If the peace and silence continue to come down, they usually become so intense as to seize the physical mind also after a time. [8]

You are probably paying too much attention to them [mechanical thoughts]. It is quite possible to concentrate and let the mechanical activity pass unnoticed. [9]

The more the psychic spreads in the outer being, the more all these things [the mechanical activities of the subconscious mind] fall quiet. That is the best way. Direct efforts to still the mind are a difficult method. [10]


  1. Sri Aurobindo. cwsa/29/concentration-and-meditation
  2. Sri Aurobindo. cwsa/29/concentration-and-meditation
  3. Sri Aurobindo. cwsa/29/concentration-and-meditation
  4. Sri Aurobindo. cwsa/29/concentration-and-meditation
  5. Sri Aurobindo. cwsa/29/concentration-and-meditation
  6. Sri Aurobindo. cwsa/29/concentration-and-meditation
  7. Sri Aurobindo. cwsa/29/concentration-and-meditation
  8. Sri Aurobindo. cwsa/29/concentration-and-meditation
  9. Sri Aurobindo. cwsa/29/concentration-and-meditation
  10. Sri Aurobindo. cwsa/29/concentration-and-meditation